The Italian Ministry of Economic Development – MISE – has offered a grant to those small businesses who retain a Temporary Export Manager (TEM) for a minimum of 6 months, with the contribution covering up to 75% of the costs! Applications can be submitted beginning November 28, 2017. For more information, please check the Ministry’s recently published fact sheet. My advice would be to contact a qualified company supplying this type of service; here in Vicenza, the most accredited one is FarExport – with whom I collaborate specifically as a TEM.

I’d now like to take a moment to list some practical examples that usually arise within small businesses and that make a case for taking advantage of this opportunity:

  1. You are a firm whose export activity is to participate in an international fair every year but you’re not satisfied with the business you receive. With a TEM you can see if there are other ways of selling; for example, seeking a distributor in a new market.
  2. If your child enters the business, fresh out of school and knowing English, and you want them to develop your export market, this is a great opportunity to have an experienced professional assisting them; one who can teach them the many tricks of the trade.
  3. If you are a subcontractor for only a few Italian clients and the orders have decreased, a TEM can help you locate other buyers abroad (or more in Italy).
  4. If your exports have always been handled by a trusted employee, consider whether it’s time to bring new skills to the company; a TEM can help.

The underlying problem of many small businesses is that they have little time to allocate to the development of new customers and/or markets. There is no one who can dedicate their complete attention to these activities. Often it’s the business owner who does it…when he has the time. Today, customers do not come to you like they once did. You have to go looking for them.

Here’s a great opportunity to do it!